Prosecutors Allege FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Bribed Chinese Authorities With $40 Million

Prosecutors Allege FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Bribed Chinese Authorities With $40 Million

March 28, 2023


U.S. prosecutors indicted disgraced FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried on bribery charges involving payment to Chinese officials, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors filed court documents alleging that Bankman-Fried paid $40 million to Chinese officials. The supposed bribe payment was made to unfreeze accounts controlled by FTX’s sister firm Alameda Research. These accounts held around $1 billion in cryptocurrencies, per filings made by the Department of Justice.

According to prosecutors, the alleged bribe was agreed upon after Chinese authorities seized Alameda accounts in 2021. The accounts were held on “two of China’s largest crypto exchanges” at the time, prompting FTX Founder SBF to transfer “at least approximately $40 million in cryptocurrency intended for the benefit of one or more Chinese government officials.”

SBF also allegedly tried to circumvent the freeze by trying to fund unregulated accounts.

After months of failed attempts to unfreeze the accounts, Samuel Bankman-Fried discussed with others and ultimately agreed to and directed a multi-million-dollar bribe to seek to unfreeze the accounts.

The latest charges bump up the DOJ’s charges against SBF to a 13-count indictment. So far, the court has arranged Bankman-Fried on five charges of the 13 counts filed at press time. A pre-trial conference will hold around 11:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 30.

Sam Bankman-Fried faces a litany of charges from federal prosecutors including bribery, conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance violations in the U.S.\

Sam Bankman-Fried Awaits Court Ruling On Newly Agreed Bail Terms

Per court filings on Monday, prosecutors and lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to new bail conditions. SBF will be limited to a phone without internet access and a laptop with restrictions under the new terms.

Prosecutors previously argued that the FTX founder breached his $250 million bail terms and attempted to tamper with witness testimony, prompting the need for revised bail conditions.

The new bail terms are subject to approval from U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York.

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